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December 2, 2008
  • Living museums for La Romana-Bayahibe
  • Punta Cana Underwater Park
  • Rum Museum in Santo Domingo
  • Sailing World on Cabarete
Living museums for La Romana-Bayahibe
Indiana University is leading an initiative to turn the Captain Kidd shipwreck site discovered off Catalina Island in the eastern DR and three other underwater preserves into no-take, no-anchor "living museums." The living museums will protect precious corals and other threatened biology in the surrounding reef systems under the supervision and support of the DR's National Office of Underwater Cultural Heritage (ONPCS). The four sites will be known as the La Romana-Bayahibe Regional Preserve Network. USAID has contributed US$200,000 to the museum project. "This ship is very important to Dominican maritime heritage and it merits protection," said Francis Soto, ONPCS Technical Director.
After discovering teak wood on the suspect Captain Kidd site, IU archaeological researchers confirmed that this is the Cara Merchant, the ship Capt William Kidd commandeered and then abandoned in 1699 as he raced to New York in an ill-fated attempt to clear his name of piracy charges.
The Captain Kidd site, which will feature a stack of cannons and anchor parts, is the only pirate ship ever discovered in the Caribbean and one of only three discovered in the Americas.
Punta Cana Underwater Park
Twelve sculptures depicting figures and customs of the Igneri and Taino Indians, the inhabitants of the Punta Cana area when the Spanish conquistadors arrived in the 15th century, make up the newest cultural attraction in the Punta Cana area. Thimo Pimentel of the Punta Cana Village Art Gallery masterminded the exhibits. The sculptures are 50 feet deep and are being placed in the Playa Bonita waters off Punta Cana throughout December. The new park is being created as part of celebrations for Punta Cana's 40th anniversary.
Jake Kheel, director of the Puntacana Ecological Foundation, says that the new park will also contribute to the enhancement of marine life around the sculptures, including species of coral, and microscopic marine life to nurture fish in the area.
Rum Museum in Santo Domingo
The Colonial City of Santo Domingo now has a new museum. The Rum and Sugar Museum has just opened at Calle Isabel la Catolica at the corner of Calle Restauracion. Visitors can view original artifacts used to extract sugar cane juice for processing into precious rum. An ancient laboratory is also on display, as well as a sampling of old rum labels throughout the history of rum production in the Dominican Republic. Several of the country's leading rum producing families contributed memorabilia to the museum's collection. Visitors will also be able to enjoy rum tasting.
Sailing World on Cabarete
Sailing World Magazine is featuring the sailing destination of Cabarete in Puerto Plata province in its November/December 2008 edition on sale now. Journalist Dave Powlison goes through the motions, experiencing the training that nearly 20 Laser boat sailors who competed in the 2008 Olympic Regatta in Beijing underwent to train for the Olympics. It focuses on the high-tech training program by Argentine coach Javier Borojovich, better known as Rulo, who follows the sailors on a boat with his camera before sitting down with them for on-shore discussions about the video footage.
See www.caribwind.com/ltc/documents/SW_article_LTC_1108.pdf

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